Choosing the 2010 top 10 fantasy baseball closers has to involve a few simple equations at first. The 2010 top 10 fantasy baseball closers have to be players that will be the primary guys when the season starts, will be trusted with the ball on a regular basis, and has to be reliable to not blow a lot of saves during the season. Other key components in the equation are that anyone closing for a team expected to win 95+ games makes the list, and if a closer can average 10+ strikeouts per nine innings they are also guaranteed a spot on the list. Don’t forget that career stats also play into things, because a proven closer gives added value that it will happen again.
One of the key pitfalls is to not go all-in for someone that is brand new to the closing job, or who is a prospect. Those guys fail as often as they succeed, and should be late round selections for those looking to fill the extra spots. Otherwise the risk is far too great to give a closer like that a draft spot in the first couple of rounds. This year there is a deep crop of closers, but it’s time to wade through the mess to reveal the top 10 fantasy baseball closers on 2010.
Top 10 2010 Fantasy Baseball Closers
1. Jonathan Broxton (Los Angeles Dodgers) — Broxton has become the main closer in Los Angeles, and he has the ability to get into triple-digits for strike-outs from the closer role. He will save at least 40 games for the Dodgers this season, keep his ERA in the twos, and is the most valuable closer on the market.
2. Joe Nathan (Minnesota Twins) — Nathan continuously puts up strong years, and will probably save 40 games again for the Twins in 2010. He has the added benefit up a sub one WHiP, and will also present a very nice ERA.
3. Jonathan Papelbon (Boston Red Sox) — Papelbon is playing for a really tough Red Sox team again this season, and will get to or surpass 40 saves for himself again this year. Boston will play in quite a few close games in that tough division, making him well worth an early fantasy pick.
4. Francisco Rodriguez (New York Mets) — The Mets will win many more games than last season, thrusting Rodriguez back into a lot of action as the closer. He could be in for another break-out season, and fantasy owners don’t want to sleep on him.
5. Mariano Rivera (New York Yankees) — What is there left to say about Rivera after all of these years, other than the fact that he is one of the best closers we have ever seen. He will again put up 35 saves, a good ERA, and a good WHiP. The risk here is that his age is getting up there, but playing for the Yankees, he will get plenty of opportunities.
6. Bobby Jenks (Chicago White Sox) — Jenks has fallen of the radar for some fantasy baseball owners, and with the White Sox sliding in the standings, he has stopped getting the recognition. He should be back on pace for a good season, a great ERA, and more than 30 saves for the White Sox again in 2010.
7. Brian Wilson (San Francisco Giants) — Wilson will have quite a few save opportunities pitching on the Giants staff again in 2010, and if the Giants can just win some more games he could be a steal in the closer role. Because we still don’t think the Giants are a great team, it lowers our expectations for him just a tad.
8. Brad Lidge (Philadelphia Phillies) — Lidge is the biggest risk on our list, but he also comes with the biggest reward if he gets back to his World Series form from two years ago. The Phillies are going to win a ton of games, and if Lidge is on his game, he will lead the world in saves. If he falters though, his ERA could hurt fantasy owners.
9. Huston Street (Colorado Rockies) — So why has Huston Street fallen so far in regards to respect as a closer? It’s an unclear conclusion, but he will be back to his old self with the new team this spring. Street will slip off the radar in a lot of drafts, and he could be a mid-round steal for fantasy owners paying attention.
10. Heath Bell (San Diego Padres) — Bell is the next great closer in the game, but he plays for such a terrible team that it’s a tough guess to figure out just how many chances he will get in 2010. He is a safe pick because of his ERA and WHiP, but nobody knows just how many chances he might get in the 2010 season.
Closer Sleeper of 2010
David Aardsma (Seattle Mariners) — The Mariners are a much improved team from two years ago, and with great starting pitching, they will set up quite a few save opportunities for Aardsma in 2010. He isn’t proven in the role yet, so he comes with risk, but Seattle looks to really try him out for the long run this season.
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